Nicole Smith makes pots at the furthest edges of balance and measure, where there’s both beauty and danger. Will it stand? Yes. Will it explode in the kiln? Maybe. But it didn’t. Thank God. To Smith, her pots are a conversation – between potter and pots, and pots and pots. In this, she’s her father’s daughter, the poet Ken Smith, in whose hands, said The Times Literary Supplement, ‘poetry ceases to be what it so often is in England, an art of framed observations: it becomes the spelling out of a selfhood, “a language to speak to myself”.’ We think the same should be said of Nicole Smith’s pots. Like the po(e)t, the pot speaks. But of what? To Smith, her pots speak of tidelines, of field divisions, of shoes (her other life), of strong edges standing proud, of monoliths grounded by pebbles or into pebbles … of resolving planes into wholes … of a moment between main courses or the seriousness of an amuse-bouche … of arresting development and thwarting sand, and fluids made solid, made landscape … and herding and ploughing, and working an ancient tradition that runs ticker-tape through the potter’s mind as the conversation shifts and moves on.